I'm starting a new thread as some discussion of DACs was de-railing the LCD-2 thread somewhat. I'm big on vintage R2R DACs and the Audio-gd units, which are very similar in design concept to the high-end vintage models, as they present music in a way that doesn't sound digital, but natural. Instruments such as pianos and violins, where well-recorded, sound realistic, and don't have the hard edge on notes that cheap digital gear tends to give them.
A while back, my DAC was a Lavry DA-10 and Northstar M192 MK1, and a friend owned the Benchmark DAC 1. I wasn't satisfied with my DACs, as they seemed to lack the finesse re-producing instruments naturally. We were lucky enough to be able to try a rare Nakamichi Dragon DAC in comparison to our DACs, and within 30 seconds of listening, using a Stax O2/717 rig, we had no doubt about its vast superiority over our current gear. After I tracked down the service manual for it, I discovered much about its design that lead me to my subsequent DAC purchases. The only digital device I've owned since that comes close to my current DAC has been the Cambridge 840c, much of its ability I attribute to the excellent DSP, as well as the finer details of its design. Considering it's not an R2R DAC (not based on the PCM1704UK), I'm pretty amazed. I've yet to try any of the new Sabre32-based DACs which are reputably very good as well.
One thing I found, having a rig that is entirely balanced for the most part is, while the LCD-2s have a form of intimacy in their presentation, the nature of my gear gives a great sense of space in the music, instruments being quite spread out on stage, more so than even with the excellent single-ended amps I've used. Some people might find this to be too much, but with the detail the LCD-2s are capable of extracting, for it it's wonderful.
From the start of my Head-fi journey, I realised the importance of a good source alongside a good DAC to bring out the spirit of the music, to the point it has changed the kind of music I listen to much more towards well-recorded acoustic types, such as jazz and classical.